Africa: Business Builds Bridges Between Nigeria, South Africa

Johannesburg — SOUTH Africa and Nigeria - the continent's biggest economies and sometimes bitter enemies - have an opportunity to build a vital relationship to the benefit of both countries.

This follows the hosting of the South Africa - Nigeria Investment Conference where business leaders from both countries met to discuss a range of issues related to trade, investment and business requirements, with a specific focus on the Nigerian market.

The South Africa - Nigeria Business Chamber hosted the event as part of its mandate to build bridges between the two countries.

"The relationship between the countries has been complex and dogged by issues on both sides but there is always an opportunity to address these challenges," Brand South Africa stated after the conference.

South Africa and Nigeria both concluded elections recently.

Despite their size and potential, they are in low-growth trajectories currently, with gross domestic product (GDP) in Nigeria expected to be 2,1 percent according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) puts South Africa's growth at a likely 1,2 percent this year, down from its original forecast of 1,4 percent.

"But while these two African giants may be growing at well below their potential, they remain pivotal states in the continental firmament," Brand SA stated.

According to the organisation, South Africa's output for 2017/18 was $295 billion (about R4.3 trillion) and Nigeria's $405 billion (R57.6 trillion).

Nigerian economist and analyst, Dr Doyin Salami, was the keynote speaker at the South Africa-Nigeria Investment Conference.

Executives from Allan Gray, MTN, Standard Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Sanlam and Transnet participated.

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